We ended up spending four days in
Treguier, due to the good old weather, which was somewhat wet and windy. We took this time to do our chores and
have a good wander round the lovely old town. It has an amazing cathedral which I have
vague memories of seeing when I sailed this way back in 1994 when I went
traveling after University.
On the evening we arrived, we took
ourselves off to a local restaurant to celebrate our arrival (I can see a
tradition starting here), and had the first of what I expect to be many
moules-frites, crepes and a bottle of vin de table. The girls can wolf their way through a
bowl of mussels faster than you can pick them out of their shells. They aren’t in the least bit squeamish
about seafood – holding up mussels and saying things like “this one looks like a
butterfly”, or “ooh look, this one’s got an eye”, before chomping them up
Another evening barbeque of prawns
and sausages Nutmeg-style – lovely!
Another batch of prawns meets its
Sarah and I were married 5 years ago
on 19th July, so we took ourselves off on a day out by bus to Paimpol,
a lovely fishing town a few miles away, and had a lovely day out. For lunch, we chose a restaurant which
offered a “planche” menu, and when my steak-frites arrived, I understood the
term – simply, it means your food comes on an enormous plank of wood! The portions were huge so we had to
drink an entire bottle of wine to wash it down. It is a tough trip. As usual, the girls devoured a monster
bowl of moules-frites each, followed by the obligatory ice cream. We walked to a beach and the girls
paddled in the very cold water. It
really is quite cold for late July!
I haven’t taken my fleece off for days!
Whilst in Treguier, I had a look
round a local chandlery. These are
amazing places – a bit like Aladdins Cave used to be before it became a
megastore – a real cave full of boating treasure, with stock hanging on rope
from the ceiling, and a vast array of fishing equipment from lobster pots down
to fish hooks, reels and reels of rope, traditional wooden-cheeked blocks and
lots of brass barometers. Their
clothing sections are really Breton – striped jumpers and navy smocks being de
rigeur. After a lot of strange
gesturing, I bought a pair of wire-cutters and a couple of knives which I will
keep at each mast for emergencies.
It has to be said, the people of
Britanny appear to be so much more involved with the sea than most English –
either through sailing or fishing.
Every little sailing boat, when you look closely, seems to be kitted with
hi-tech sails & ropes and there is such a great variety of design! You know that if you see a Hallberg
Rassy, Beneteau or Bavaria it will be a British yacht, but all
the interesting, wacky designs are French.
They seem to be so much further ahead in their thinking than us
Brits. As a sailing population, we
seem to have been hoodwinked by the marketing hype from the usual suspects
(Beneteau, Bavaria, Raymarine etc) and it has suppressed
any individual creative thinking that may have existed. I have seen full-on Figaro-type racers
kitted out for cruising, and no end of one-off aluminium shoal-draft boats with
various appendages. But when you
see them sail, they sail well – fast & high.
We, on the other hand, are in a
somewhat unique league of our own, Nutmeg being such an old, seaworthy
design. There is the odd Contessa or Rival
now and again but we haven't seen another Nic yet. I have realized
that my boat and I share some characteristics (and indeed these are common with
other adventures I have done, such as the Pakistan and
Sahara Landy trips) – scruffy, functional, driven hard and set up for
adventure. Perhaps my friends and
colleagues can see some parallels.
By the way, I realized in my
previous blog that I may have been a bit harsh on my colleagues’ and Accenture’s
AIS abilities. It is only fair to
acknowledge that enhancing AIS to include identification of shipping relative to
one’s GPS position alongside issuing motor insurance quotes & policies is
simply a matter of some requirements sketched on a fag packet handed over to the
mighty team in UK, Spain and India – give them a couple of months and I have no
doubt the team would deliver this in a mini-release and a couple of Rapid Fixes
… I think I might start a Marine
sector in Accenture when I return. There are all sorts of applications in the
commercial and leisure sectors and it needs some